Lee handles the Rays 5-0.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a great strength and conditioning guy by the name of David Barr. This is an open letter to David to get Jonny Gomes in there and get some speed training and lower body work to get those legs moving a bit faster. I know the benefits of speed. I had to have it to cover recievers and backs in the NFL.
But, to watch Gomes glide over to the Rightfield foul line and miss 2 balls is disappointing at best. There are tons of programs out there to increase a guy’s speed even Jonny’s size a half a step or better in a short amount of time.
I like you Jonny, that is why I am asking you to get some help from within the organization to get yourself a little acceleration before they do not even use you in the outfield. You are a great motivator and a fantastic character to have around in a emotional game. But, you need some outfield work on running to balls and wall work to secure at least a part-time role in the outfield in the Rays future.
Jonny, they are looking for a right-handed bat to play in RF. Is that enough of a wake up call to get motivated and work on your craft daily. Cleveland is a hard ballpark to play in, but you have made it look like you are just a slow turtle trying to fit in a drag race.
Use the time wisely between now and the end of the All-Star break to work on acceleration and playing the wall more. You are a great insipration to this team, and I would hate to lose you because of speed issues and mis-guided routes to the ball. Jonny, the clock is ticking my friend, get it in gear or you might find yourself on another team’s bench, or worse.
Rays Manager Joe Maddon must be scratching his head and wondering to himself in the dugout lately. Is this the same team that just went 11-1 before now dropping 5 straight on this roadtrip.
Can this be the same club that was only 2 games under .500 on the road before leaving for New York this Tuesday. Can he give Jonny Gomes anymore chances to show his worth in the outfield after 3 bad decisions by Gomes. Can he awaken the bats that have now gone stone cold at the wrong time.
This was the squad that extended losing streaks this year, not promote winning ways. Is this the same manager that ESPN and other publication have touted as a Manager of the Year candidate for what he has done for this team.
This is a team that had one of it’s younger starters call out his teammate for scoreboard watching, and not having their heads in the game. The good part is, there are 2 games to redeem themselves before the break. With Matt Garza and Scott Kazmir on the mound in those contests, can the turning point be right in front of them.
Wake-up calls are never pretty for any team. But this squad has come too far upward to fall from grace now. Kazmir has a chance on Sunday to “talk the talk, and walk the walk” for the Rays. I have a feeling this will be a game you do not want to miss……….count on it.
When you are in a funk, weird things can happen. When you are losing, every bad play and missed opportunity is elevated to twice it’s size in the media. Or are you just a product of that slump?
In last night’s contest, we saw Carl Crawford miss a ball he has caught 1,000 times or more for a sure out. It was only CC’s 4th error of the year, but it was a odd play to watch.
We saw Jonny Gomes twice pull up near the rightfield foul line like it was a concrete wall. We also saw him blunder on a running catch after taking a bad route to the ball. Gomes is a great guy and player, but I wonder if he just made a play for full-time DH-only duties now for the Rays
Rays Broadcaster Joe Magrane stated that, ” Top flight pitchers take pride in stopping losing streaks.”
James Shield is that type of pitcher. But he has also had struggles on the road this season. Coming into last night’s game, Shields was 2-4, with a 6.09 ERA on the road this year. To add to this, Shields is 0-3 lifetime against Cleveland despite a 2.66 ERA.
All 3 of his losses came last year against the Indians. One of those losses was against Cliff Lee, who is pitching tonight for the Indians. Shields did have 28 strikeouts and held the Tribe to a .189 average, but the Rays have been stymied at Progressive Field losing 12 games in a row in the park.
Last night during the first inning, with 2 outs, Shields had early trouble in the inning on a infield single by Ben Francisco, then a Gome bobble in right of a Jhonny Peralta double to score Francisco. Shields got out of the inning, but the damage was already done for the Rays.
Shields pitched 6 innings and gave up 5 runs on 10-hits for the Rays. Shields raised his ERA to 3.83 this year, and threw 103 pitches before Jason Hammel relieved him and pitched the last 2 innings of the contest.
The Rays did manage to get 8 hits in the game, 5 hits against Indian starter, Cliff Lee. Carlos Pena continued his hitting by going 2-4, with a broken bat single to center in the 4th inning, and a single to right in the 6th inning. Carlos is now hitting .238 for the year.
Ben Zobrist also went 2-4 last night, getting a single up the middle in the 3rd inning, and a 2-out single in the 7th inning. Zobrist raised his average to .261 since coming back up to the Rays.
Evan Longoria hit a double into the leftfield corner in the 3rd inning and was stranded at third to end the inning for the Rays. Longoria is hitting .321 on the road, tops on the Rays this season.
Longoria was not the only Rays to be stranded on Friday night, Zorbrist was left on second in the 3rd inning after leading off the inning with a single. Akinora Iwamura hit a blistering double in the 5th innig, but was stranded after Crawford struck out to end the inning.
In all, the Rays stranded 9 baserunners last night. The Rays are currently in a slump advancing runners in scoring positions. Tampa Bay had won seven a row to open a five-game lead in the AL East on July 6. A 10-inning loss Monday to Kansas City started the Rays on their current slide, in which they’ve been outscored 32-7 and had their lead trimmed to 1 1/2 games over the Boston Red Sox.
Tampa Bay has hit .192 (33-for-172) with 48 strikeouts during its losing streak. Iwamura and Carl Crawford, the top two hitters in the order, are a combined 5-for-50 (.100).
Rays manager Joe Maddon said RHP Troy Percival will test his strained left hamstring by throwing off the mound Saturday. … Rays RHP Al Reyes (shoulder tendinitis) pitched one scoreless rehab inning for Class A Vero Beach on Thursday. … Rays SS Jason Bartlett (sprained right knee) swung a bat and fielded grounders Friday, but his lateral movement still isn’t 100 percent, Maddon said.
I do want, and need to stress that I have been a bit rough on this blog towards certain people on the team. I am proud of whast this team has done this year, and know for a fact that some people are struggling and not up to par right now. But, I also know that this is the time of the year that you either step up, or are left behind in the rubble.
With that in mind, I will not apologize for the comments. It is my opinion, and not the opinion of anyone concerned with the Tampa Bay Rays. I have seen enormous stride made this year and hope that more are in the cards before October for this squad. For this reason, I find it totally within my grasp to comment and make suggestions about situations.
With that said………………..Let’s go out tonight and get this losing streak stopped, and begin a second chapter to this Rays’ “Summer to remember
Hey Evan, here is my personal plea to get Rays Bullpen catcher Scott Cursi to throw for you at the All-Star game. You can bring your own pitcher, so why not use someone who is a great pitcher, and someone who derserves the recognition for everything he does for the Rays.
Scott would enjoy the adventure beyond words, and you know you want the best to help you with the Home Run Derby. Just think about it, I know it would give you an air of familiarity, and also confidience knowing you have a Rays’ staff member throwing to you.